Is it really a law that men can’t use the women’s bathroom? I know it is in North Carolina—more on that below—but that’s because their legislature went hysterical over a symbolic issue back in February. Before that, did people actually place themselves in legal jeopardy by using the wrong bathroom at Starbucks? I can’t imagine the Carolina brothers sitting down to draft the state’s first laws and, amid the provisions on theft and murder, including one about using the right bathroom. Nor can I think of an occasion to add one later. There’s something about a law, though. When a matter of custom or individual conscience becomes enshrined in statute, it reduces the pressure to behave well and not just legally. Today is Friday, and the more rules we make, the less we have to worry about ethics. Won’t you relax into the letter of the law with me?
Luis Lang has a detached retina and bleeding in his eyes due to complications from diabetes. He needs a series of expensive injections and eye surgery, or he will go blind. A critic of President Obama, he refused to buy health insurance until late February, when he incurred $9,000 in emergency room bills. That’s when he tried to buy a policy through his state’s exchange and learned that he’d missed the 2015 deadline. He and his wife blame Obama and Democrats for passing a flawed, confusing bill. “[My husband] should be at the front of the line, because he doesn’t work and because he has medical issues,” his wife told the Charlotte Observer. “We call it the Not Fair Health Care Act.” First of all, I am sorry for Lang’s health problems, which are scary and bad. Also, he appears to be kind of an asshole. But does that mean we should let him go blind?